Deadwood Study – The Marathon Project

Graphite on paper, A3. Materials also include tears, self-loathing and scepticism of the life I’ve chosen in general.

Last night I sketched the last stroke of this study – a study that I started two months ago to this day. Granted, it hasn’t actually taken me a full two months to complete; I had breaks, but it’s still by far the most involved drawing study I’ve ever done, and I did it, Mum.

Aside from a friend of mine insisting that it looked like a ball of cannabis, I’m really happy with it! It’s good to say that and mean it.

The main focus of this drawing for me was, well, focus. Depth of focus. And the photograph I drew from had a very shallow depth of focus, which I wanted to convey. That was probably the hardest part, but with a little help from a few paper stumps and an electric rubber from WHSmith, I think I cracked how to do it.

Seriously those electric rubbers are class. 10/10.

This was valuable as a journey as well as an outcome as well, because when you invest so much time and energy into one thing, there’s room to learn during the project, rather than just from the project. Hindsight is overrated.

This was such a different way of working for me, and I actually surprised myself with how long I could stay focused on it. Usually I’m starting with gestural marks, or including some element of chaos or loose form in my work, but everything about this project was meticulous, fiddly, and excruciatingly technical. Absolutely no room for expression or even freedom.

Can’t really decide if that was refreshing or suffocating.

It was nice to be a bit more objective about a project, and focus more on the technical side of things. With the contemporary art world becoming more and more accepting of what pops up proclaiming itself as art (not a bad thing by any stretch), it’s easy (at least I think it would be for me) to pour all the effort into the concept and not the execution. I guess the truly refreshing thing about this was that there was no concept, it was just a study. Something to learn from!

And learn from it I did.

This is a good day.

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